Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 17: Water System Update

This is an update to an earlier post about the work I'm doing for the region's water systems

It's been a long, hot week, half spent walking the far reaches of Leogane's water system and the other half making sense of the findings on the HODR office computers. After many hours spent plotting data in Google Maps and co-writing the proposal to get the pipes flowing again we had our meeting earlier this evening with Albun, an employee of the Government of Haiti water department DINEPA.

The town plumber Homer joined us for our 5:00pm meeting and we presented our 13 page report on what can be done to fix the system. Our original plan called for the installation of ten potable water tanks placed around the city that would be filled from float valves on the repaired water system. This seemed to make the most sense to us since a lot of people aren't living in houses connected to the system but they still require water. Albun ended up asking us for a simpler solution since repairing the whole system is a long term goal. What he wants is for us to investigate how get water flowing to the first few working valves in the system as a starting point.

As a result, I will be spending this Saturday gathering data on the two other village reservoirs serviced by the same pump as the Leogane reservoir. The goal of this weekend will be to figure out what short-term equipment can be purchased to get water flowing to the starting points of all three towns. Albun said his organization is able to immediately provide the funding for this equipment. Homer should be able to identify for us what needs to be purchased and from where. Most likely HODR volunteers with their various expertises will be involved in the actual digging and installation of these components.

I've heard horror stories about meetings with government officials from any country, but I have nothing but great news to report from today!

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